7 daily habits that show you’re still a young person at heart

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It’s a fact – the world is obsessed with youth.

Music, movies, fashion, food, and almost everything else is targeted at young people, while anyone who’s even creeping up on middle age is quickly pushed out of pop culture.

Well, that could actually be a good thing.

Older people have experiences and wisdom. They have their preferences and aren’t so easily pushed into all the new trends that come along.

At the same time, though, who wants to become an old fuddy-duddy?

So, is it possible to accumulate wisdom, sagacity, and maturity while still being authentically young at heart?

I certainly hope so since I’m one of those people who are creeping up on middle age, too!

If you think you’re someone whose body is aging but inside you’re still youthful, here are seven daily habits that show you’re still a young person at heart.

1) Having fun

Charles Dickens wrote, “To a young heart everything is fun.”

I think he missed a comma but nailed the point.

If you’re not having at least a little bit of fun every day of your life, you’re definitely missing out.

And don’t go telling me that doing your taxes correctly or finishing reports is fun.

You’re confusing things that give you a sense of accomplishment and even enjoyment with the youthful idea of fun.

When we’re young, we all know what fun is. It means doing something that’s exciting, stimulating, enjoyable, and amusing all at once.

We have such exuberance and joy in our lives when we’re young that we can appreciate activities and play in a way that many adults don’t seem able to.

We joke, laugh, play games, play tricks, and generally romp around the world no matter what else is going on and how heavy it may be. But as adults, so many of us get weighed down by the immense pressures that life can place on us.

Some of us actually lose the capacity to have fun, but many others don’t.

We know that games, jokes, and silliness are essential to truly enjoying life and keeping us young at heart.

2) Feeling gratitude

If you practice gratitude every day, you probably have a much younger heart and lighter soul than most.

Most kids don’t practice gratitude. Instead, they experience it every day as they feel exhilarated and happy to just be alive.

But adults often have to look for the silver linings that keep them from feeling buried in dark clouds.

Franz Kafka may be known for creating nightmarish scenes, but he still had something great to say about keeping young at heart. “Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”

This should be a lesson for all of us that no matter how old we get, our ability to see beauty and goodness in the world can keep us young.

So if you take the time to practice gratitude each day by focusing on the things that make your life great, your heart is going to stay forever young.

3) Moving

Your body, I mean. Not your home. That would be too much work to do on a daily basis!

But moving your body, getting physical, and getting pumped can make you feel young and invigorated.

Kids don’t need to be told to dance and laugh and play. At least, they didn’t before tablets and smartphones!

They naturally have so much energy that they can hardly sit still, so they zip around, jump, tumble, hop, scramble, climb, and crawl their way through the world.

Why is it that we become so motionless as we get older?

Many people would argue that our muscles and joints get stiffer, making it more difficult and less pleasant to get up and move. But motion is lotion, baby!

The more you move, the looser you get, so that’s really just a trap that people have fallen into.

I think we’re taught to sit still in school since it’s one of the only ways poor teachers can actually get us to pay attention. But then this sedentary lifestyle catches on, and we flop on the sofa, crouch over our desks, and generally find ourselves in the same positions for large portions of the day.

I’m a writer – I know.

But if you can include movement into your daily schedule, you’re going to feel a whole better and maybe younger, too.

Go for a morning jog. Ride your bike. Swim. Dance. Climb a tree.

All of these activities get your blood pumping, which is great for your body and brain. But they’ll also remind you of how wonderful and amazing it is that you can move whenever you want.

4) Trying new things

From the time we’re born, every day is filled with new objects to sense and new experiences to encounter.

They hear new words, taste new flavors, see new sights, smell new (not always nice) scents, and stick their fingers just about everywhere to feel new textures.

The world of a child is a veritable cornucopia of new sensations to learn about.

As anyone who has kids knows, you also get to experience this all over again through your child’s eyes, and that gives you a much-needed injection of youthfulness in your life.

But what happens to adults?

We fall into patterns, and instead of trying out new things all the time, we focus on our likes and stick to our routines. We even convince ourselves that we’ve “seen it all”, which is actually a really cruel lie.

The fact is that there is so much to experience in the world that we’d never get through it all in a thousand lifetimes.

Those of us who don’t stop trying new things and seeking out new experiences are able to keep that youthful joy throughout our lives.

5) Learning 

If you think about the characteristics that define kids, I’ll bet you anything that curiosity ends up in your top ten.

Like most animals, our brains are wired to be curious so that we can learn new things to help us survive this crazy thing called life.

But unlike other animals, our brains are incredible and our capacity to learn and grow far outstrips any other species on earth.

Except maybe dolphins. They could secretly be way smarter than us.

So kids not only try out new things, but they also want to learn about everything out there. They ask “What’s that?” and once they start to get a good grasp on the material world, they start asking about the metaphysical with that unstoppable “Why?”

They also push themselves to learn to do things like riding a bike or using chopsticks just because it’s a challenge and mastering things is enjoyable.

What about you?

Do you step out of your comfort zone and try to learn new things every day? Do you have a well of curiosity that has no bottom?

If so, that shows you’re still a young person at heart, no matter how old you are.

6) Creating

If you’ve ever seen a two-year-old play with clay, you’ve seen the power of creativity firsthand.

If you’re lucky, you get to see the moment when that child realizes that they can make something that actually looks like something, just with the power of their own two little hands!

This is an incredible experience, and it’s something that very few other animals do. Certainly, none have our capacity to build and create.

Once kids realize that they can make changes in the world, even if they’re just tiny ones like rolling a lump of clay into the shape of a snake, they get hooked.

Young people are always making new things or making their mark on things they find. This explains so much of art and music, but also fashion and graffiti.

When we get older, though, some of us start to stifle our creative impulses. We can feel like the effects of our creativity are negligible, and that stops many of us from bothering.

But if you look at people who are young at heart, you’ll see that they don’t stop. 

They might keep writing songs, painting pictures, cooking splendid meals, and growing incredible gardens not because they’re trying to win prizes but because they connect with the incredible power of creating.

7) Dreaming

You’ll know a person whose heart is old and dusty when you know that they don’t have any dreams.

Dreaming is such a youthful thing to do. It’s hoping for something to exist in the future that will make that future bright.

Many people will call themselves realists and say that dreams are for children, and maybe they’re right. But giving up your dreams is probably the fastest way to grow old that I can think of.

Conclusion

Having fun, feeling gratitude, moving, trying new things, learning, creating, and dreaming are seven daily habits that show you’re still a young person at heart.

If you have them, no matter how old your body gets, your heart will never grow old!

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